1991 GMC Sonoma

Ext cab, 4.3 V6, 2wd,

When I turn the key the truck does not start. The accessories work, no blown fuses, new starter, alt, dist cap and rotor, plugs, wires, oil changed. I just got thru replacing all that stuff and went to the store it ran great, When I got back in to go home - nothing - the key turns to the start position and nothing. It goes back to the accessory position and everything works great, all the lights etc. I jumped the starter and it turned over the engine flawlessly (Key was in accessory position) but did not start. I had the air intake off and saw it getting gas, I thought it was getting to much gas but am not sure. It did not fire or do anything but turn over.

How many miles on your Sonoma?

[i] When I turn the key the truck does not start.[/i] What exactly happens when you turn the key, if anything.  Any noise, clicks sounds like engine is rotating?  

With all the things that have been replaced, it appears someone is just throwing parts in there without spending a little time to test anything.  

 Right now my guess would be the ignition switch or if an automatic transmission, I would consider the lockout.  

 Frankly as noted above we have a language problem.  It is not just you and me, but there seems to be a lack of standard meanings for words describing what can happen as you try to start a car.  My personal favorite is "turning over"  If you ask five people what it means, I suspect you will get at least three different answers.  

For now I would suspect the ignition lock/switch and battery cables (that includes both ends of all the cables and internally inside a cable.

Get under the truck and look closely at the wiring on the starter. You may have let the wires get against the exhaust manifold.

Automatic with 210K - but until recently ran perfectly.
Key turns to the start position and Nothing - Nothing means nothing. It did not make a sound. The battery is 3 months old. Battery cables are all clean I cleaned the connectors to the starter when I replaced the starter. The bearings went out in the Alt 2 weeks ago so I replaced it and then had the system checked at the parts store. All OK.

Parts - No I was putting new plugs, rotor and cap, when a plug wire came apart so I replaced the plug wire set. The starter went bad a month ago with an internal short.

Turning over, means that the starter engages and the motor attempts to start by turning the pistons. You can see the belt moving.

I thought ignition lock switches were on manual trans.

Did that. I hooked into the starter, not the neg, wire coming up from the starter and used a jumper to the battery and the engine turned over (Attempted to start) but did not start. When I removed the jumper it stopped and I did this 3 or 4 times. Each time the motor attempted to start (Turned over) belts all moving but did not start.

Did you have the key “ON” during this starter jumping event? you should have if you wanted the van to start.

Do you have a tilt column? Has it been loose for a while? If the answer is yes, then chances are the rack that moves the wire that moves the ignition switch is possibly broke not moving the switch far enough. When you turn the key to “on” do the dash lights come on?

Key was in the On Position. All the accessories, lights, radio, turn signals etc worked. Yea it is a tilt. When in On position everything has power. Dash lights, come on just as they should, all the accessories work perfectly.

Is tilt loose?

No the tilt is not loose BUT YOU ARE THE WINNER!!! Thanks Pete.

Took off the plate over the tilt release, turned the key, stuck a screw driver into the metal plate and pulled back on it as I turned the key and it cranked up. I have fired it up two or three times.

I have been workin on this truck for years, doing all the work myself and I swear I would never have thought of that. I was sure it was one of the modules was out.

What do I need to replace to get it back to working?

Thanks Pete

If the key was on (and showing it by the dash lights comming on) the van should have started with the starter being jumped from underneath. In any case sounds like you are on to it.

There is a rack kit made by Help that should have all the parts to make a fix. It’s a fairly complicated procedure. The bowl and upper half of the tilt will have to come apart to replace the rack. That’s the toothed part that slides back and forth. Hopefully you have a manual to help you through this. Be careful bearings will come out.

The ignition is on the top side of the steering column down near the fire wall. There is a geared cog behind the key cylinder that moves a steel rod. No shit. You turn the key which moves a steel rod that runs down the column and pulls back on the ignition which is a straight plastic plug, I thought it was just a connector that plugged the column into a harness, turns out it is the ignition. Well after I took the column loose pulled it down I found that the ignition was loose and moving. The steel rod comes down and is bent at a 90* angle at the bottom and sticks into the ignition, as you turn the key it pulls back or pushes forward. This gives you accessories, on position, and start. So with a 4mm wrench I adjusted the switch back to the position it was suppose to be in tightened it down and now it works like new.

What a pain in the ass. Hope all this made sense.